Júlia Bergmann, one of Brazil’s youngest volleyball jewels, has decided to leave the country’s youth development system to try her hand in the NCAA. The 17-year-old 6’5″ outside hitter, a staple in all of Brazil’s youth teams, and who was recently crowned a South American U20 champion, will play for Georgia Tech.
At the 2018 FIVB Girls’ U18 Championship, played in Argentina and in which Brazil finished in 10th place, Julia was her team’s 2nd leading scorer (and 15th overall) with 100 points (3.49 points/set). She was also the tournament’s 4th best server, with 0.58 aces per set (18 aces in 99 tries). Against Team USA, and what will be her future opponents in the NCAA, she scored 18 points in a 5 set loss (11 kiss, 4 blocks, 3 aces).
She spoke to Brazilian volleyball blogger Bruno Voloch about the move:
“I think it is important to study, to have the experience of playing in another country, and to learn another language. Going to college will not hinder my career. In fact, I think it can even open new doors to me. I hope the recently ended South American Championship was not my last participation with a Brazilian national team. I really want to play for it at the senior level, to compete in an Olympic Games and a World Championship. I think my time will come, and I still have a lot to evolve in my game.
I think youth volleyball has not been valued in Brazil as it should have been in the last recent years, specially in a few states where the sport doesn’t get that much visibility. Without someone to encourage the children to practice volleyball, the sport will not go forward.”